If you’re unhappy with how your teeth look, it can make it hard to meet new people, engage in social activities, or stand out at work. Anytime you smile, laugh, or talk, you feel self-conscious about having crooked teeth, gaps, or other imperfections, so now you’re considering braces. Specifically, you want invisible braces like Invisalign®, but you’re not sure if it’s right for you. Our cosmetic dentists in Cary and Holly Springs understand you have questions, so to help you learn more about dental aligners, we’re answering our most frequently asked questions about Invisalign®.
Choosing Invisalign Invisible Braces
First, let’s look at questions related to whether this option is right for you and how the process works.
How Do Invisalign® Plastic Aligners Adjust My Teeth?
Invisalign® is a custom-fitted aligner that is molded to fit snugly over your teeth to gently and gradually shift them into place. Computer models will generate images of how your teeth will straighten and shift over time, and those images, along with physical molds of your teeth will map out your progress. Every few weeks, you’ll receive new aligners to wear and each set you receive will shift your teeth into a straighter position.
Is Invisalign® Better Than Metal Braces?
Wearing Invisalign® aligners is a much different experience than wearing braces that most patients prefer. Metal braces are better for patients who have significant alignment issues or complex orthodontic concerns that can affect their dental health, whereas Invisalign is ideal for adults who would like to reduce the appearance of mildly crooked, crowded, or gapped teeth.
For milder cosmetic concerns, Invisalign® offers the following benefits:
- You can take the aligners out to eat so there are no limitations on your diet.
- They are significantly less noticeable to the casual observer.
- You can maintain your usual dental hygiene routine.
- They’re typically more comfortable than metal braces.
Most importantly, they help you get the straight, attractive smile you want without the hassle of metal braces.
What Are Plastic Aligners Made Of?
Invisalign trays are made from a proprietary, transparent, BPA-free thermoplastic polymer called SmartTrack. To get more specific, the material itself is a medical-grade polyurethane resin that is soft and flexible enough for comfort but can still gradually shift the teeth into alignment.
Living with Invisalign Plastic Aligners
Now that you better understand how Invisalign works, let’s answer your questions related to how living with them will affect your daily living.
Do Invisible Braces Hurt?
When your dentist has you try on your first set of trays, it may feel strange, and they will feel snug against your teeth which is necessary for them to work. While a bit of initial discomfort is normal, pain or distress needs to be brought to the dentist’s attention.
For the first few days after wearing your Invisalign, you may notice some strange sensations and your teeth shift, and some mild aching may be present. This will occur for a few days after you receive a new set of aligners, but it should fade quickly. Over-the-counter pain medication can ease some of the discomforts.
How Long Will I Wear My Invisalign®?
Each day, you’ll want to wear your aligners for about 20 to 22 hours a day, removing them only to eat, take care of your dental hygiene, and clean the trays. Wearing them nearly all day long gives them a greater opportunity to work and leads to better results.
The process from first getting your invisible braces until you complete the series of trays depends on the extent of your tooth alignment concerns. However, the average time span is around 12 months to get the best results.
Can I Eat with My Trays In?
No, we would recommend you remove your Invisalign® trays while you eat to avoid damaging the plastic as well as prevent any staining, sticking, or discomfort. After you finish eating, make sure to brush your teeth to remove any food residue and particles and place the aligners back in.
Will People Notice I Have Plastic Aligners?
They’re made from flexible, transparent plastic which cuts down significantly on their visibility. Someone in close proximity may see that you’re wearing Invisalign, but for the most part, the average person at work or at a social gathering will likely not notice. They’re significantly less noticeable than metal brackets and braces.
Will My Invisalign Affect My Speech?
When you first wear your aligners, you may notice a slight lisp at first because they limit the spacing in your mouth and where your tongue hits. However, most people don’t have any problems at all, and those who do experience a lisp work through them as they get used to wearing the aligning trays. It is very important to talk to your dentist if you have significant speech changes or difficulty talking with your trays.
Schedule an Appointment for an Invisalign® Consultation Today
If you want straight, even teeth and a healthier smile, we can help! Call us at our Holly Springs dentist office at (919) 600-6262 and our Cary, NC dentist office at (919) 467-2203, or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment and learn if invisible braces are right for you.